The Holiday Drink You’ll Love – No Eggnog

While it snows outside and the air gets crisp, one wonderful part of the holiday season is snuggling in with a hot drink. However, the usual wintery beverages can be a no-go for vegan folks, lots of them being milk and egg heavy.

Unless you opt for a milk-free cocoa or an egg-free eggnog, your choices for liquid holiday cheer can get a bit limited. So, what drink should you cuddle up with under a blanket this December?

Our answer: mulled wine.

Credit to Olly Smith.

Mulled wine (or gluhwein, as it’s called in German) is spiced, warmed wine, and it has the benefit of being free of animal-products. It’s easy to make, fabulous to look at, and perfect to drink in the chilly weather.

Mulled wine hasn’t quite made its way to the United States as a major holiday drink. You can find it at city Christmas markets, or maybe in certain cafes, but its cultural relevance is still minimal.

However, mulled wine is absolutely huge in Europe. Everywhere you go, cafes and pubs put up signs to tell you that mulled wine season is here!

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But you don’t need to be in Europe or go to a Christmas Market to get in on the warming, spicy goodness of mulled wine. You can make it in your home with ease and enjoy it with friends and family on a cold night.

For a fantastic personal mulled wine recipe you need:

  • A bottle of red wine (more details on this below)
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 star anise
  • 7-10 whole cloves
  • 1 large piece of orange rind

Then it’s simple! Combine the ingredients in a pot, and heat on medium for about 10 minutes, but don’t let it boil. Serve with an orange slice as a garnish.

From Nourished Kitche.

Now, if you’re wondering which wine to use, don’t overthink it. Because mulling disguises lots of the flavors of the wine, don’t go expensive, and maybe even use this opportunity to use up a wine you don’t like.

If you are picking something out, select something full-bodied with a bold flavor profile that can hold its own against the spices. Something too delicate or complex will lose all its nuance in the mulling.  A middle-of-the-road, inexpensive red will suffice, maybe a young Merlot or Napa Valley Zinfandel.

Find more versions of mulled wine recipes here, some including brandy, cider, and other variants to spice up your holiday season.

Katie Jeddeloh

Gastronomy Content Contributor

Katie Jeddeloh is a third year undergrad at St. Olaf College where she studies English and Women's and Gender Studies. Katie is an earth enthusiast and poet, and she loves growing, cooking, and talking about food.